Collaborating Authors


The future of work 3 – automation


In this third part of my series on the future of work, I want to deal with the impact of automation, in particular robots and artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs. I have covered this issue of the relationship between human labour and machines before, including robots and AI. But is there anything new that we can find after the COVID slump? The leading American mainstream expert on the impact of automation on future jobs is Daron Acemoglu, Institute Professor at MIT. In testimony to the US Congress, Acemoglu started by reminding Congress that automation was not a recent phenomenon.

How to Respond to the Future of Work: The Importance of Upskilling


How are you evolving your skills for the future of work? This is one of the most pertinent questions workers are asking themselves. However, the answer is constantly changing. With every new technology, innovation, regulation, and system, the most in-demand skills shift. The capabilities that employers are looking for today are no longer the capabilities of last year, and in many industries this has created a significant skills gap.

Technology Ethics in Action: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives Artificial Intelligence

This special issue interrogates the meaning and impacts of "tech ethics": the embedding of ethics into digital technology research, development, use, and governance. In response to concerns about the social harms associated with digital technologies, many individuals and institutions have articulated the need for a greater emphasis on ethics in digital technology. Yet as more groups embrace the concept of ethics, critical discourses have emerged questioning whose ethics are being centered, whether "ethics" is the appropriate frame for improving technology, and what it means to develop "ethical" technology in practice. This interdisciplinary issue takes up these questions, interrogating the relationships among ethics, technology, and society in action. This special issue engages with the normative and contested notions of ethics itself, how ethics has been integrated with technology across domains, and potential paths forward to support more just and egalitarian technology. Rather than starting from philosophical theories, the authors in this issue orient their articles around the real-world discourses and impacts of tech ethics--i.e., tech ethics in action.

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence -- From Machine Learning and Computer Vision to Emotional Intelligence Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of everyday conversation and our lives. It is considered as the new electricity that is revolutionizing the world. AI is heavily invested in both industry and academy. However, there is also a lot of hype in the current AI debate. AI based on so-called deep learning has achieved impressive results in many problems, but its limits are already visible. AI has been under research since the 1940s, and the industry has seen many ups and downs due to over-expectations and related disappointments that have followed. The purpose of this book is to give a realistic picture of AI, its history, its potential and limitations. We believe that AI is a helper, not a ruler of humans. We begin by describing what AI is and how it has evolved over the decades. After fundamentals, we explain the importance of massive data for the current mainstream of artificial intelligence. The most common representations for AI, methods, and machine learning are covered. In addition, the main application areas are introduced. Computer vision has been central to the development of AI. The book provides a general introduction to computer vision, and includes an exposure to the results and applications of our own research. Emotions are central to human intelligence, but little use has been made in AI. We present the basics of emotional intelligence and our own research on the topic. We discuss super-intelligence that transcends human understanding, explaining why such achievement seems impossible on the basis of present knowledge,and how AI could be improved. Finally, a summary is made of the current state of AI and what to do in the future. In the appendix, we look at the development of AI education, especially from the perspective of contents at our own university.

AI and the Future of Work: What We Know Today


This decoupling had baleful economic and social consequences: low paid, insecure jobs held by non-college workers; low participation rates in the labor force; weak upward mobility across generations; and festering earnings and employment disparities among races that have not substantially improved in decades. While new technologies have contributed to these poor results, these outcomes were not an inevitable consequence of technological change, nor of globalization, nor of market forces. Similar pressures from digitalization and globalization affected most industrialized countries, and yet their labor markets fared better."

Artificial Intellgence -- Application in Life Sciences and Beyond. The Upper Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium UR-AI 2021 Artificial Intelligence

The TriRhenaTech alliance presents the accepted papers of the 'Upper-Rhine Artificial Intelligence Symposium' held on October 27th 2021 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Topics of the conference are applications of Artificial Intellgence in life sciences, intelligent systems, industry 4.0, mobility and others. The TriRhenaTech alliance is a network of universities in the Upper-Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region comprising of the German universities of applied sciences in Furtwangen, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Offenburg and Trier, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Loerrach, the French university network Alsace Tech (comprised of 14 'grandes \'ecoles' in the fields of engineering, architecture and management) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. The alliance's common goal is to reinforce the transfer of knowledge, research, and technology, as well as the cross-border mobility of students.

On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Artificial Intelligence

AI is undergoing a paradigm shift with the rise of models (e.g., BERT, DALL-E, GPT-3) that are trained on broad data at scale and are adaptable to a wide range of downstream tasks. We call these models foundation models to underscore their critically central yet incomplete character. This report provides a thorough account of the opportunities and risks of foundation models, ranging from their capabilities (e.g., language, vision, robotics, reasoning, human interaction) and technical principles(e.g., model architectures, training procedures, data, systems, security, evaluation, theory) to their applications (e.g., law, healthcare, education) and societal impact (e.g., inequity, misuse, economic and environmental impact, legal and ethical considerations). Though foundation models are based on standard deep learning and transfer learning, their scale results in new emergent capabilities,and their effectiveness across so many tasks incentivizes homogenization. Homogenization provides powerful leverage but demands caution, as the defects of the foundation model are inherited by all the adapted models downstream. Despite the impending widespread deployment of foundation models, we currently lack a clear understanding of how they work, when they fail, and what they are even capable of due to their emergent properties. To tackle these questions, we believe much of the critical research on foundation models will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration commensurate with their fundamentally sociotechnical nature.

What the "Creator Economy" Promises--and What It Actually Does

The New Yorker

The influencer is a fading stock character of the Internet's commedia dell'arte. Often a conventionally attractive white woman, she shows off her aspirational life style via social-media channels. She accrues a large following, and then makes a living by getting companies to sponsor the content of her glamorous life. The cliché of the influencer emerged, during the twenty-tens, from multimedia-rich platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, where the goal was to forge as curated and polished an image as possible. Influencers were social-media users as celebrities, with much of the vanity and purposelessness that the comparison implies.

Baker touts housing, job training, transit in 'Future of Work' report

Boston Herald

Investments in housing, transit and job training emerged as top priorities for the Bay State as it recovers from the pandemic, according to a future of work report released by the Baker Administration. "The changing ways of working may shift what we think of as the'center of gravity' here in Massachusetts away from the urban core and toward the rest of the state," Baker said at a Tuesday morning press conference at the Tufts Launchpad location for BioLabs in Boston, a recipient of a Baker administration Workforce Training Fund Program grant. The report estimates that Massachusetts will need to produce 125,000 to 200,000 housing units by 2030, a $1 billion investment, with a focus on aiding homeownership among communities of color. Baker also announced $240 million in funding for workforce training programs. The report says up to 400,000 people may need to change occupations over the next decade to keep up with workplace trends.

The Role of Social Movements, Coalitions, and Workers in Resisting Harmful Artificial Intelligence and Contributing to the Development of Responsible AI Artificial Intelligence

There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.